THE GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA
It is the oldest, yet it is the only surviving of the Seven Ancient Wonders...
Location: At the city of Giza, a necropolis of ancient Memphis, and today part of Greater Cairo, Egypt.
Description: At the time of its construction, the Pyramid is believed to have held a height of 481 feet. When it was built, the Great Pyramid was the tallest structure in the world. Due to weather conditions, an average of 30 feet has worn away over the years. The sloping angle of its sides is 51 degrees and 51 minutes.
The structure consists of about 2 million blocks of stone, each weighing about 5,074lbs. With these dimensions, one might wonder how the ancient Egyptians were able to manuever such unwieldy objects; there are many theories: On theory involves the construction of a ramp that was raised as the height of the pyramid increased. The ramp made it easier for the transport of the large stones. A second theory suggests that the blocks were placed using long levers. When the main structure was complete, it looked like a series of steps. These were then filled in with blocks of white limestone, which were cut to give a smooth, gleaming surface
The entrance to the pyramid is located on the north face. Within the pyramid, the king's chamber is located directly in the middle, a number of hallways run throughout the pyramid, any can be used to to access the kings burial place.
Information: The Pyramids were built as tombs for the kings of Ancient Egypt. Of the 10 pyramids at Giza, the first three are held in the highest regard. The first, and largest, was erected for the Pharaoh Khufu (the two others were built for Khufu's son and grandson). This great pyramid is the only pyramid considered the "wonder". The memorial was built around the year 2560 BC to serve as a burial location for the pharaoh, Khufu, when he died. It is believed to have taken about 20 years to complete the great structure. In this time, the site was prepared, and large blocks of stone were cut, transported and placed. An outer protective casing was placed around it, however this no longer remains due to "wear and tear", mostly weather factors. Nestled at the foot of the Great Pyramid were three smaller pyramids. Here the chief queens of Khufu were buried.
Many scholars think the pyramid shape was an important religious statement for the Egyptians, perhaps symbolizing the slanting rays of the sun. Some speculate that the sloping sides were intended to help the soul of the king climb to the sky and join the gods.
Today the top of the Great Pyramid is missing and Khufu's son's pyrmaid is the only one with limestone still covering it. The pyramids along with the Sphinx reside in what is known as the Giza plateau.